SES: South Boston: Race report

Jeff Fultz outduals Billy Bigley Jr. at Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway For First Series win of 2003. SOUTH BOSTON, VA. (May 31 2003) - Two NASCAR Elite Division, Kodak Southeast Series Champions hooked up in an old fashion dual to the ...

Jeff Fultz outduals Billy Bigley Jr. at Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway For First Series win of 2003.

SOUTH BOSTON, VA. (May 31 2003) - Two NASCAR Elite Division, Kodak Southeast Series Champions hooked up in an old fashion dual to the finish Saturday evening at Who's Your Daddy, Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway in the Armed Forces 150 presented by Coors Light with Jeff Fultz winning over Billy Bigley Jr.

For the second consecutive year inclement weather was a factor in this series event at South Boston Speedway when heavy rains moved through the area delaying racing action. Strong determination by track manager, Cathy Rice, to get the event in the books and give race fans 400 laps of advertised racing action, paid off although race activities started some three hours late.

Fultz's C & C Boiler/Cleaver Brooks Chevrolet and Bigley's Peerless Woodworking Chevrolet were clearly the class of the field at South Boston as the two drivers dualed each other for the entire 150 laps and were the only two drivers to pace the 25 car field.

"Now that was Saturday night short track racing," exclaimed a jubilant Fultz when he climbed from his racecar. "This is our second time to win at this track which is a tough race track. But thank goodness for those last two cautions otherwise Billy (Bigley) would have been here instead of my self."

"Our car was strong in the corners but there was oil on the bottom of the track and it was hard to get a good bite. I tried to get inside Bigley's car two or three times in turn four, even cutting down on the apron, but just could not get my car to stick. There was no way I could have won had it not been for those last two cautions closing the field." When Fultz was asked about the contact between his car and Bigley's on lap 142 coming off turn two, Fultz just said, "ironically that is where he made his move on me early in the race and my car was fast coming off the corner. My right front touched his when I went low but when he pushed up I just gunned it and made the pass."

Fultz's win moved him to the top of the Kodak Southeast Series points standing after two events.

Finishing behind the two series champions was Jason Hogan in his Universal Chevrolet Chevrolet, Bud Pole winner Jarod Robie in his Iron Horse/Miller Fall Protection Chevrolet and Victory Circle Chassis Rookie of the Year contender John "Boy" Wilkinson III with his Murphy Automotive Chevrolet.

Robie earned his first career NASCAR Bud Pole Award when he turned a fast lap of 15.644 secs (92.048 mph). But with the new inversion procedure implemented this year, Robie drew a six in post qualifying putting last year's winner David Reutimann on the inside front row for the start. Fultz started outside front row.

Fultz got the jump on Reutimann's Pennzoil Chevrolet as the green flag waved making an outside move on last year's winner as the two cars went into turn one. Reutimann settled into second with Bigley third. Seven laps later Reutimann's car pushed high in turn one allowing Bigley's car to take the runnerup slot and set his sights on Fultz. It didn't take the Naples, Fla. driver long to move to the front when his car and Fultz's touched coming off turn two. Fultz pushed high allowing Bigley to take the point, which he held for the next 129 laps. It was another tough night for Reutimann's team that eventually retired from the race on lap 33 with electrical problems. On lap 21 Reutimann's car was tagged from behind by Jason Hogan's machine as the two cars came off turn four with Hogan trying to take over the third position. Reutimann's car spun, did a 360, and continued with no caution. Only five cautions for 33 laps waved for various problems during the race with seven drivers finishing on the lead lap. The race was run in record time of 53 Mins. 56 secs around the 4/10-mile oval.

Rounding out the top ten finishing positions were A. J. Frank, Randy Gentry, Dusty Williams, rookie contender Justin Wakefield, who's crew chief is six-time series champion Jody Ridley and Brian Smith, who's crew chief is two-time series champion Freddie Query.

John "Boy" Wilkinson Jr. earned the Victory Circle Chassis Rookie-of-the-Race Award while Brian Smith earned the $750 POWERAde "Power Move Of The Race Award" for improving his starting position by eight spots. Smith and Cecil Chunn both improved the same amount however Smith had a higher finishing position.

The next event for the Kodak Southeast Series will be this Friday, June 6, at Nashville Superspeedway for the "Bob Harmon Memorial" Sunbelt Rentals 125.


Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Drivers Billy Bigley , David Reutimann , Jeff Fultz , Brian Smith
Teams Williams